State Sen. Elect Claudia Kauffman, D-Kent, has received her committee assignments in Olympia for the 2023 legislative session.
Kauffman will become vice chair of the Human Services & Behavioral Health Committee. She also joins Sen. Derek Stanford, D-Bothell, as Leadership Liaison to Tribal Nations. Kauffman, of the Nez Perce Tribe, will be on the Local Government, Land Use & Tribal Affairs Committee and the Transportation Committee.
“Our majority caucus continues to become a more accurate reflection of the people we represent,” Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig, D-Spokane, said. “Lawmaking is most effective with diverse voices and perspectives at the table. Our caucus, like our state, includes people of many different backgrounds, ages, and lived experiences. Those experiences and diverse opinions result in better policies and ensure that we are working to make progress for everyone in Washington state.”
The Senate Democratic Caucus on Dec. 1 voted to confirm committee membership and leadership positions, according to a State Senate Democrats news release.
Kauffman defeated Kent Republican Bill Boyce in November for the 47th District Senate seat and four-year term. She will replace Sen. Mona Das, D-Kent. The 47th District includes parts of Kent and Auburn and all of Covington.
State Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Des Moines, will be chair of the Labor & Commerce Committee. She also will be vice chair of the Rules Committee and is on the Ways and Means Committee.
Keiser, who represents the 33rd District, returns as President Pro Tempore, which means she presides over the Senate when the lieutenant governor is unavailable. The 33rd District includes parts of Kent, Des Moines, SeaTac and Burien. She has been in the Senate since 2001.
Committee assignments and leadership positions become official after a full vote of the Senate on the first day of session. The 105-day 2023 legislative session begins Jan. 9.
The 2023 session will return to an in-person format, but many of the tools put in place to help the public participate more easily and actively during the pandemic will remain.